A magnificent owl in our back yard. The eyes are stunning! We’ve heard it making all kinds of racket at night. Here it sits in broad daylight. It’s much larger than I expected it to be. It “puffed” itself up as I approached a little closer, making it even more intimidating.
Excuse me. You are not a hummingbird.
We went whale watching with the Pacific Whale Foundation. This is a wonderful organization. All profits support Pacific Whale Foundation’s research, education and conservation programs to save whales, dolphins and our oceans. Every trip is led by certified Marine Naturalists who provide a truly unique, educational and fun adventure at sea. It was a spectacular adventure! We were there right in the peak of whale season. Whales in every direction. It was an amazing experience that we'd do again and again.
I have learned over the years not to let my cameras spoil the experience. I am not the kind of photographer who spends the whole day looking through their camera. It's fine if you do that, it's just not my style. As a result I miss getting images of some things. By that I mean I miss catching it on camera. I'm OK with that when I have experienced it with my own eyes. I prefer that to constantly waiting for the perfect shot while missing the total experience. We did see the iconic whale breeches. Several of them. I'm glad I didn't miss seeing them because I was waiting for them to breech exactly when my camera was aimed. Someday I'll go back and approach it differently now that I've experienced it. Maybe I'll get lucky and catch a breech with my toys.
PS: Why the moon with the whales? We left the dock before sunrise. We arrived early. I grabbed a shot of the moon while were waiting.
While playing around with the macro lens in the back yard, I noticed the cicada sunning itself on the patio umbrella. This is an example of focus stacking. Nine images, each manually focused at a different spot, were combined in a great application, Helicon Focus, from a company called HeliconSoft. Check out the links.